Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming

Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming

Genre: Suspense
Series: #2 in the James Bond series
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2007 Recorded Books (Book originally published 1954)
Length: 6 hours, 13 minutes
Read by: Simon Vance
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Typical James Bond story with a bit of Voodoo in the mix.

Why I Read It:
After listening to Casino Royale last year on a road trip with The Hubster we decided that this series would be good for that. When a short road trip came up we started this one.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Those Mr. Big cannot possess he crushes; those who cross him will meet painful ends — like his beautiful prisoner, Solitaire, and her lover, James Bond. Both are marked as victims in a trail of treachery that leads from New York’s black underworld to the dark secrets of the island in the sun that Mr. Big calls his own. Voodoo, sharks, barracudas, time bombs, harpoon guns, torture, and terror are the ingredients for a scalding brew that reaches the boiling point in an eruption of violence.

My Thoughts:
James Bond joins up with an American CIA agent to track the source of 17th century gold coins that have been showing up in Harlem and Florida. The suspicion is that they are part of a lost pirate treasure. Underworld leader Mr. Big has ties to SMERSH and his people fear his Voodoo powers.

Yes the story is dated and ridiculous at times but that’s exactly what I expect from James Bond. As with the previous book in this series I was prepared for the 1950’s political background. What was jarring (particularly in the beginning) was the 1950’s racial perceptions and language. Once I was able to compartmentalize that as belonging to the times when it was written it was less jarring. It’s the same way I tend to approach the portrayal of women and their roles in this kind of book.

The story was fun and adventurous as I expect from James Bond books. I haven’t seen the movie version of this one and I’m not really sure that I care to but the book was a fun listen.

Simon Vance is fabulous. His voice characterizations are great and he’s got just the right amount of wry humor in his voice in all the right places.

We’ll definitely continue with this series and they make fun road trip books for us. One thing that I did with this one was have in on two of our iPods. I knew that the book was longer than our weekend of driving would be but after we got home both The Hubster and I had the book on an iPod and we were able to each finish it up on our own within a few days. That way of handling road trip books opens up possibilities for us. I don’t have to worry so much about finding a book we can finish before we get back home because with multiple iPods we can each finish on our own time.

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.